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Decision from Datsyuk expected this month

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — Red Wings general manager Ken Holland expects to meet with Pavel Datsyuk early next week, and hopes to have a decision on the center’s future shortly after that.

“I know Pavel is coming back to Detroit in the middle of June, he has a camp that week, and we’re going to meet before that,” Holland said.

Datsyuk either will return to the Red Wings or head home to Russia — to be close to his daughter to finish his playing career in the Kontinental League.

If he leaves the Red Wings, Datsyuk does so with one year and a $7.5 million salary cap hit.

Datsyuk, who’ll be 38 in July, is hosting a hockey camp June 17-21 at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s.

Dan Milstein, Datsyuk’s agent, said during the World Championship he and Datsyuk received a contract proposal from SKA St. Petersburg and expected others from rival KHL teams.

Datsyuk said toward the end of the regular season — and again after the Red Wings playoff exit — he was leaning toward returning to Russia.

But he also said he hasn’t made a final decision.

Because the contract with Datsyuk was signed after his 35th birthday, the $7.5 million would count against the Red Wings salary cap even if Datsyuk is in Russia.

If Datsyuk leaves, Holland would attempt to trade the cap hit to a team (Arizona, Carolina, New Jersey) that needs to reach the approximate $55 million floor.

Ice chips

Holland said the search for the final assistant coach position is down to “a couple of names,” and he expects a decision this week.

The Red Wings have asked permission to talk to former coaches Todd Richards and Dave Cameron in recent weeks.

Doug Houda was hired to handle the defense and penalty kill, and Jeff Salajko goaltending.

... Holland said he’s made a contract offer to potential unrestricted free agent forward Darren Helm, but has yet to hear from Helm or his agent.

... Holland also has had talks with forward Drew Miller, another potential unrestricted free agent.

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

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